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Fitzpatrick: Monaghan have reason to be confident

Conor McCarthy’s introduction from the bench was important in Monaghan’s win over Down

A FORMER Monaghan selector who worked on Malachy O’Rourke’s management team has said that the Oriel county have reason to be optimistic in Saturday’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Dublin.

Finbarr Fitzpatrick says that the Monaghan team are the strongest they have been in some time.

“There is a lot of encouraging signs. The form this year, apart from the Down game, has shown that they are coming.

“There is still a big 70 minute performance in this team. It is going to have to come this weekend. Monaghan are going to have to play at a level that they haven’t played at to beat Dublin. That’s the reality of it.”

Fitzpatrick was a selector on Malachy O’Rourke’s panel for four years. He was involved with the u-21s for three of those four years as well, and has seen the progress of the younger players like Ryan McAnespie and Conor McCarthy.

While the Monaghan seniors have won two Ulster titles, he accepted that they still have one goal they want to achieve.

“The one thing that has eluded Monaghan is to get beyond the last eight. The stage they are at now, there has been a transition with the team. That is starting to bed in as well.”

The full inteview with Finbarr Fitzpatrick is available in store today or online here.

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